A consumer watchdog has laid claims that the popular hamster toy Mister Squiggles contains dangerous levels of a toxic metal. The prized robotic pet, which is a part of the Go Go Hamster range, has traces of the element antimony.
GoodGuide tested dozens of the battery-powered characters aimed at three to 10-year-olds and found worrying levels on the rodent's hair and nose.
In small doses antimony can cause headaches and dizziness, and in large amounts it can cause vomiting, cancer and even death.
US website GoodGuide's co-founder Dara O'Rourke insists the amount found was higher than allowed.
"We found levels of about 93 to 106 parts per million. The new federal standard is about 60," the Daily Star quoted him as saying.
However toy-maker Cepia LLC has slammed the tests, claiming that proper testing on the toys is carried out.
"As a father of children myself, I would never allow any substandard or unsafe product," chief executive Russ Hornsby said.
"All our products are subjected to several levels of rigorous safety testing," he added.
Mr Squiggles, which retails at 9.99 pounds in the UK, has sold out in many shops.